Central America, Spring ^10

May 15, 2010

Hello from Leon!

Filed under: Uncategorized — samanthabass @ 10:06 pm

I´m in Leon right now for the weekend. There´s two girls from Denmark that are staying in Miraflor and helping teach English for two weeks, so we all traveled to Leon for the weekend with the girl from London. Leon´s a really neat city, it´s about three hours away and has a lot of students, it´s where all the major Universites are. We´ve been eating ice cream and taking really luxurious showers and hanging out with other foreigners and Nicaraguans. I took pictures of all the grafitti and murals everywhere. We´re staying in a hostel here, going back Monday morning to Miraflor.

I´m living with Marlone and Mayra in Miraflor, my host-parents, Mayra is also the president of the cooperative that I´m doing my project on. And Marlone speaks English, not that I need to speak English anymore…que rico! They have a seven year old son and their 15 year old neice lives with them in the house. One of the girls from Denmark also lives in the house now, and the other girl is across the street at their grandparents house. All the electricity comes from the solar panel on the roof. I eat lots of really fresh food here, really fresh. The other day I attended the pig roast, watched the whole process. It was a huge event with the kids running around crazy (pig as punching bag) and like twenty people standing around and helping out. It tastes really good and is about as fresh as it gets, I have some gruesome pictures that I may or may not share.

I help cook dinner sometimes and am learning some cooking skills. Really good! Rainy season is here and it rains every night, which is really convenient because they don´t have to walk to the well anymore and can use the water from the concrete water storage place in the backyard. It´s sweatshirt weather in Miraflor, which is really hard to believe because it feels like 100 degrees in Leon. All the trees have fuzzy things hanging from them, it´s really beautiful and neon green. In the mornings there´s usually clouds and from the school I can see them partly covering all the mountains. Sort of lord-of-the-rings-esque/enchanted garden/rainforest paradise.

There´s a huge pig that had piglets last saturday and it hangs out around the house sometimes with twenty tiny pink things jumping on top of each other.

In the morning I teach the second graders reading and math with the other volunteers. Marlone is a teacher at the school, but first grade and second grade is in the same classroom and they only have one teacher. Before Catherine came, (girl from London) he would teach one lesson and then assign work and then teach the other lesson. Now we both teach at the same time so the kids have full attention and don´t stand on the desks throwing each other on top of one another. (ninos!) So now, I´m learning my times tables again in spanish. tres por tres es iqual a nueve…etc. The kids yell ´profe´every few seconds for us to check their work. They´re really cute, and the school looks over a mountain range, beautiful.

The school was built by an NGO from Spain, they pay for the materials and lunch for the kids. Usually the government builds schools and provides materials, but they won´t recognize the land because the land is reclaimed from the revolution and the community doesn´t have the land title. During recess they make us play games with them but we usually have no idea what´s going on because their Spanish is really hard to understand and they talk really fast like little kids. So they move us to different places and tell us what to do and run around us in circles. Funny stuff.

We also teach English classes in the afternoons, which are much more tame and sensible. There´s a beginner class and two advanced classes. The man that volunteered in the community last year brought a bunch of English textbooks that are specific for rural tourism, so we use them to make up activities in class.

Also, I walked into my room last thursday and there was a chicken under my bed because I left the door open for a little bit, woops! I´m taking lots of pictures. I´ll write again next weekend.

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